1 The Space Night
4 Hallways Of Always
5 Truth Lies In Trust
6 The Aquarium
7 Intro To Fly Away
8 Fly Away
9 You Sap Me I Sap You
10 The Presence Of Her Absence
11 Fun Foam
12 Frozen Stasis
13 Summer's Over The Rainbow
14 Beginning Of What?
By late 1980, Charles Rice Goff III felt that his home recording experiments were at last becoming interesting enough to share with the world. The first Taped Rugs Productions cassette release: “Might As Well Beyond Venus,” features a mix of Frippertronics-style tape loops, several microphones-in-the-room style multitrackings, a wide variety of instruments, and some powerfully provocative poetics. The whole project is held together by documentations of experiences and expressions of intense emotions, relating to Goff’s summer love affair with Heather Maria McKim. A 32 page photocopied booklet was originally distributed with the hour-long cassette to help lead listeners through a dramatic tale, filled with all the ups and downs that one might expect from a love affair between two young artists living out their avant fantasies in the psychedelic San Francisco Bay Area.
The unembellished Frippertronics-style tape loop pieces included on the cassette were edited from some of the earliest tape loop experiments recorded at the Taped Rugs Studios in Berkeley and Oakland, California. Two of the excerpts: "The Aquarium" and "You Sap Me I Sap You," come from the very first Goff - Steve Schaer tape loop session. During the four years following the release of this cassette, Goff and Schaer continued sonically experimenting as the duo dubbed: "-ING" and often included themes from Might As Well Beyond Venus in their live performances.
Robert Silverman appears on the warped tape loop piece entitled "Toothpaste." Silverman and Goff went on to found the group "Herd Of The Ether Space" with Killr "Mark" Kaswan in later years.
The other unembellished tape loop pieces: "The Space Night," "Fun Foam," and "Beginning Of What?" were created by Goff alone. The acoustic guitar ballad, "Fly Away," is also a Goff solo effort, recorded on the night that McKim flew off to Scotland at the end of the summer of 1980. Several versions of Fly Away have been released on various Taped Rugs recordings over the years since.
The multitracked pieces on Might As Well Beyond Venus were all created without using any actual multitrack recording technology. They showcase Goff’s mastery of using just microphones in a room with stereo speakers to record live overdubs, and while the pieces all have a significantly lofi component to them, these compositions convey their sonics with plenty of mojo.
“Ours” features Goff singing poems, which he had written for McKim, over a melodic tape looped guitar bit. Goff colors up the recording with a tonette and strikings of the door bell chimes that welcomed visitors to the rented house in which he lived at the time.
“Hallways Of Always,” also features Goff singing a poem which he had written for McKim; however, the tape looped guitar on this piece is quite fiery, and the vocals take on a dramatic intensity. The piece is also colored by a percussion track that showcases a kitchen’s worth of resonant objects.
“Truth Lies In Trust,” features a guitar tape loop bit which begins by slowly drawing the listener into a relaxed space and ends with its repetitions feeding back into an insect-like buzz. Over this, Goff sings the words of two poems written by McKim. Each poem is heard simultaneously, one in the right channel, one in the left. The vocals themselves were recorded with the microphones plugged through a Cry Baby wah wah pedal, producing a panorama of nearness and distance to mimic the spacey qualities of the guitar loops. As the guitar becomes more and more distorted, Goff begins to literally cry, creating a very intense listening experience.
“The Presence Of Her Absence,” is a cover song, originally written by Glen Vance and Michael Towers. It features no tape loops, but the double-tracked Cry Baby wah wah lead guitar bits give it a much spacier flavor than the original Vance/Towers recording. The beat for this song was provided by Goff stomping on a big rug which covered a large section of the living room floor in his rented house. This part of the recording is no less than the very first embodiment of Taped Rugs (although of course the name, “Taped Rugs,” really has no relationship to rugs at all, ha ha!)
“Frozen Stasis,” is based on a monotonic guitar tape loop bit played at half of its original speed. On this sonic landscape Goff performs a saxophone improvisation played at twice its original speed. Over all of this, Goff recites/sings another of McKim’s dramatically intense poems. The final touch is another kitchen full of percussion. This long piece is possibly the most ambitious recording of the tape and carries with it a huge dose of experimentalism.
“Summer’s Over The Rainbow” is a three-part Goff a cappella vocal multitrack of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” with original Goff lyrics and a few provocative sound effects. Little did Goff realize when he made this recording that sixteen years later he would be actually homesteading in Kansas himself...
The soils of the worldwide avant garde cassette culture were only just beginning to sprout when “Might As Well Beyond Venus” came to life. Nevertheless, Goff did end up distributing quite a few copies to other sonic artists and friends. Bay Area college and public radio stations played bits from the tape as well, and Goff even sent copies to some experimental record labels to solicit their unrequited interest.
Taped Rugs offers its sincerest appreciation to the late Steve Schaer, to Robert Silverman, and especially to Heather McKim (now Heather Engleman) for being a part of this first Taped Rugs Production and for helping light the Taped Rugs fires have burned brightly with recordings ever since.
by Taped Rugs Productions